...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Black Bull 40 year old blended whisky, Batch 4

Alright, I'll get right to it. Between 2009 and 2016, Duncan Taylor released seven batch of 40 year old blended whisky. This is batch four, bottled in December 2012.

To note, most of the distilleries utilized in these batches match those of Duncan Taylor's old Lonach series. For instance, batch four was assembled with Glenlivet, Bunnahabhain, Glen Grant, Tamdhu, Invergordon, and Port Dundas whiskies. Lonach fans will recognize those names. And all BB40 batches, but the last, had ABVs between 40.2% and 41.9%. DT must have had quite a stash of low strength oldies in their warehouses.

As has been stated elsewhere on the Intertubes, this batch 4 was priced at less than €300. Three years later batch 7 was €900. Meanwhile, batch 7 is still available in Europe seven years after its release. Someone got a little bold with their prices.

But ignoring that €€€ issue, I'm looking forward to this 40-year-old nearly-all-malt blend.

Brand: Black Bull
Ownership: Duncan Taylor
Type: Blended Whisky
Parts: 89/11 malt/grain
Age: minimum 40 years
Maturation: ???
Batch: 4
Outturn: ???
Alcohol by Volume: 41.9%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? No
(from a bottle split)


Black licorice slowly turns into black walnuts on the nose. Dunnage and soil. Amontillado and rye bread. Hints of tar, sandalwood, apricot jam, and sultanas drift by now and then.

The age and malt content give this whisky's palate more thickness than one would expect an ABV this low. It starts with dried herbs, toasty oak, and salted roasted almonds, followed by coffee and ginger powder. Hints of wormwood and old old old old sherry casks arrive 60+ minutes later.

Its finish is chocolatey, but with a bite, almost like Mexican chocolate. Pipe tobacco and bitter citrus make cameos.


There's no doubt about the whisky's age, and sherry casks are in the mix. As with many very old spirits, this 40yo's nose at first stuns the drinker, then steals the show from everything that follows. While the palate is quite good, it can't compete. And the finish proves to be a bit shorter and shallower than expected. Though I (very sadly) don't have Black Bull 30 on hand for comparison purposes, I think it edges this batch of the 40 due to its fruit and power. But Duncan Taylor's blenders delivered great whiskies in both instances.

Availability - Secondary market?
Pricing - ???
Rating - 88

No comments:

Post a Comment